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Blog Archive

Cheddar Cheese Risotto

Cheddar Cheese Risotto
I was a little bit dubious about this Nigella recipe - but as ever, it was delicious. A quick and comforting meal any day of the week. Use a strong cheddar if you can - I used Davidstow Extra Mature!

By Beth Sachs, 23rd December 2008

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1 leek, sliced finely
  • 300g Risotto Rice
  • 125 ml dry white wine
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock
  • 125g Cheddar, cubed
  • Chives, chopped
  • Step 1: Melt butter and oil and soften leek for 10 minutes.
  • Step 2: Add rice and fry for 1 minute, add wine and mustard and stir until wine evaporated.
  • Step 3: Gradually add stock, ladleful at a time, until rice is cooked and liquid absorbed.
  • Step 4: Take off heat and stir through cheddar and chives.
Beth Sachs
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Christmas Cupcakes

Christmas CupcakesSome festive cupcakes for you to try. Not much time to write anything else - I've got too much to do! I thought I was really organised...!


350g plain flour
85g golden caster sugar
85g light muscovado sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
zest 2 small oranges
2 eggs
284ml carton soured cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g butter , melted

Step 1: Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/ gas 6. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
Step 2: Mix the flour, sugars, baking powder and zest.
Step 3: In another bowl, beat the eggs, then stir in the cream, vanilla and butter and pour into the dry ingredients. Stir to mix but don't overbeat. Spoon into cases.
Step 4: Bake for 25 minutes
Step 5: Cool and decorate with butter icing and festive sprinkles
Beth Sachs
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Curried Mince and Peas

Curried Mince and Peas
Cheap, easy and with only a handful of ingredients this is the perfect midweek meal to satisfy the whole family. If you like it a bit hotter try making it with Madras curry paste rather than the Tikka paste specified in the recipe.

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Curried Mince and Peas
Curried Mince and Peas


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Curried Mince and Peas
A quick and easy curried mince and peas recipe.
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 4 TBSP Tikka Curry Paste
  • 750g Minced Beef
  • 200ml Beef Stock
  • 400g tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 100g Frozen Peas
Step 1: Heat 1 TBSP oil in a pan and fry the onion for 5 minutes.Step 2: Add the minced beef and fry for another 5 minutes.Step 3: Stir in the tikka paste then pour in the tomatoes and stock. Simmer for 15 minutes.Step 4: Add the frozen peas and cook for 5 minutes before serving.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time:
Yield: 4

Beth Sachs
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Chocolate Yule Log

This 'Nigella' inspired Yule Log has gone straight in the freezer ready to be pulled out on Christmas Eve, sprinkled with some icing sugar, and maybe, just maybe 2 little robins on top (as my Nan used to do).

I feel like I'm really on top of my Christmas preparations this year. Last Christmas was way toooo hectic - I got married on the 29th December so Christmas went by as a bit of a blur. This year I just want to relax with the family, eat what I want (I had to be a bit careful last year) and be 'merry'(and you all know what that constitutes in my book). Bring it on!!!!!!

For the cake;
6 Eggs separated
150g Caster Sugar
50 g Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Icing:
175g Dark Chocolate
250g Icing Sugar
225g Butter, softened
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Step 1: Preheat oven 180c and line a swiss roll tin with baking parchment (let it overhang the edges)
Step 2: Whisk the egg whites until the form stiff peaks and continue to whisk while you add 50g of the sugar.
Step 3: Whisk together the egg yolks and remaining sugar until it becomes thick, pale and moussy, sieve in cocoa and fold in with vanilla extract.
Step 4: Combine with the egg whites by folding in gently then tip into tin and bake for 20 minutes.
Step 5: To make the icing, melt the chocolate, beat together the butter and sieved icing sugar then combine with the now cooled chocolate and vanilla extract.
Step 6: When the cake comes out of the oven, let it cool for 5 minutes before turing out onto another piece of parchment paper.
Step 7: Spread a thin layer of the icing on top of the cake then roll up to form a roll.
Step 8: Place on a presentation plate and smother the icing over it.
Step 9: At this point you can put it in the freezer or serve sprinkled with icing sugar if you wish.

Beth Sachs
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Nigella's Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake

Nigella's Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake
The smell of this cake was amazing, with the orange zest, espresso and cinnamon. Serve with raspberries for a fruity twist.


150g Dark Chocolate
150g Butter
6 Eggs
250g Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
100g Ground almonds
1 tsp Cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves (I didn't have any so didn't add this)
Zest of 1 Orange (Nigella uses a clementine)
4 tsp Instant Espresso powder
Raspberries and chocolate sauce to serve

Step 1: Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 180c. Butter sides and line base of 23cm springform tin.
Step 3: Melt chocolate and butter together in microwave and set aside to cool
Step 4: Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick, pale and moussy. They should have doubled in size.
Step 5: Fold in ground almonds, cinnamon, orange zest and espresso powder.
Step 6: Fold in chocolate mixture.
Step 7: Pour into tin and bake for 35-40 minutes
Step 8: Place tin on cooling rack and don't unlock the tin until cooled completely.

You can freeze it for up to 1 month or it will last for 3 days.
Beth Sachs
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Edible Christmas Gifts (5) ~ Cranberry Vodka

Cranberry Vodka

It takes two weeks to make so you need to get started pretty soon to have this ready for Crimbo.

1 litre Vodka
250g Fresh Cranberries
175g Caster Sugar

Method: (makes 2 50cl bottles)
Step 1: Sterilise a suitably large bottle (see picture at top)
Step 2: Prick the cranberries with a fork and place in bottle, add voddy and sugar
Step 3: Leave for two weeks shaking every day
Step 4: Strain and decant into smaller 50cl bottles (sterilised) to give away as presents - I may well have to keep a bottle...for emergencies
Beth Sachs
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Edible Christmas Gifts (4) ~ Gold Dust Christmas Cookies

Courtesy of Nigella, an easy festive cookie for you all to try. I bought my edible gold glitter, which is a necessity in this recipe I think, from Jane Ashers online store. I made these for Lowen's little friends at nursery (I've put them in the freezer for now) but I'm half tempted to make another batch and use them for Christmas tree decorations. They have a lovely delicate flavour and my only alteration to the recipe was the addition of some orange zest, which went great with the ginger.

Ingredients: (makes 30ish)
90g Butter, softened
100g Caster Sugar
1 Large Egg
1tsp ground ginger
Zest of 1 orange
200g Plain Flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
Edible gold glitter

Step 1: Preheat oven to 180c
Step 2: Cream butter and sugar, beat in egg followed by ginger and orange zest. Fold in flour, baking powder and salt and continue mixing until it comes together to form a soft dough.
Step 3: Form 2 discs, wrap in cling film and put in fridge to rest for 20 minutes
Step 4: Flour surface then roll out dough to 5mm thickness
Step 5: Cut shapes out and put onto baking sheet lined with parchment
Step 6: Sprinkle with gold glitter and bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on size of cookie.
Beth Sachs
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Mediterranean Pasta Bake

Cheesy Mediterranean Pasta Bake
The great thing about this pasta bake is that there's no need to pre cook the pasta. All you need to do is mix the ingredients together in a bowl, pour into an ovenproof dish, scatter over the cheese and bake for 1 hour in the oven. It's really tasty too!

Mediterranean Pasta Bake


| Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 1 Hour | Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes |


  • 100g Chorizo, sliced
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 500g Penne
  • 150 ml of Double Cream
  • 50g Capers
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 TBSP Basil, chopped
  • 175ml Boiling Water
  • 1/2 TSP Sugar
  • Salt, Pepper and 1 tsp sugar
  • 80g soft goats cheese
  • 75g Parmesan, grated
  • 75g Cheddar, grated


  • Step 1: Preheat the oven 180C (160C Fan).
  • Step 2: Mix all of the ingredients together (except the cheeses) in a large bowl.
  • Step 3: Pour into an oven proof dish, top with the cheeses.
  • Step 4: Bake in the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cover with foil after 20 minutes to stop it browning too much on top.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date:  22nd November 2008 |

Beth Sachs
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Stroganoff Steaks

I rarely cook steak, mainly down to its expense, but after a few stressful weeks at work hubby and I decided to treat ourselves last Friday. I bought two lovely thin cut sirloin steaks and fried them for 2 minutes a side (we like our steaks on the rare side). It was washed down with a lovely glass of Shiraz.

1 Onion sliced
25g Butter
1 garlic, crushed
200g Chestnut Mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 Sirloin steaks about 200g each
150ml Beef Stock
150ml Soured Cream
Parsley, chopped

Step 1: Fry the onion in the butter until soft, add the garlic and mushroom and fry until mushrooms cooked. Add paprika and fry for 30 secs. Tip out onto plate
Step 2: Heat oil in same pan, cook steaks as you like, then take out of pan and keep warm.
Step 3: Return Mushroom mix to pan, add stock and reduce by 2/3. Take off heat and stir through cream, parsley and season well
Step 4: Serve sauce on top of steaks with whatever you fancy. As I don't like potatoes I served this with rice and peas.
Beth Sachs
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Edible Christmas Gifts (3) ~ Apple and Cranberry Chutney

Apple and Cranberry Chutney
This Chutney tastes fantastic, even straight out of the pan! The original recipe comes from Good Food magazine but I halved the recipe as I only wanted to fill 2 x 500g jars.

Great served with cold meats and cheeses or given as a Christmas present. The Chutney will keep for 6 months.

500g Cooking apples, peeled and chopped
250g Eating Apples, peeled and chopped
250 onions, sliced
25g Ginger, chopped
1/2 Tsp red peppercorns
250g Granulated Sugar
125ml Cider Vinegar
250g Cranberries

Step 1: Put all ingredients in a large pan except the cranberries, bring to the boil then simmer uncovered for 50 minutes.
Step 2: Add the cranberries for final 10 minutes of cooking.
Step 3: Fill 2 x 500g Sterilised Jars.
Beth Sachs
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Apple Crumble Bars

Apple Crumble Bars
Apple crumble is probably my favourite dessert (with warm custard in the winter and a dollop of clotted cream in the summer), but I wanted to see if I could transform this popular pud into traybake form, making it easily transportable in lunchboxes and picnic baskets. I'm pleased to report it worked and I ended up with a gorgeously fruity tart apple bar with a sweet and crumbly topping. The quantities I give make a huge tray but it freezes really well too so why not freeze half for another day?
Apple Crumble Bars
If you love apple crumble I promise you'll love these.
Apple Crumble Bars


| Serves: makes 30 bars | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 55 Minutes | Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes |


  • 560g Plain Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 270g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 60g Light Brown Sugar
  • 330g Butter, diced.
  • 3 Bramley Apples, peeled and diced
  • Juice half a Lemon
  • 1 TSP cinnamon


  • Step 1. Peel and dice up the apples into small cubes. Squirt with the lemon juice and set aside in a bowl.
  • Step 2. Combine the flour, salt and sugars in a bowl.
  • Step 3. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until you get a breadcrumb like consistency.
  • Step 4. Take 1 cup of the crumb mixture and mix it with the apples. Add the cinnamon and set aside.
  • Step 5. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan and grease and flour a 9inch×13inch baking pan. Take 1/2 of your remaining crumb mixture and press it into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Step 6. Remove the crust from the oven, pour in the apple mixture and top with last of the crumbs. Put it back in the oven for another 45 minutes. When it’s done, the top should be a beautiful golden brown. Cool by putting the pan on a wire rack so air can circulate around it. Cut into bars after they've completely cooled.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 13th November 2008 |

Beth Sachs
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Bacon and Pea Linguine in a White Wine and Soured Cream Sauce

This was most definitely a throw it in the pan kind of dish as I'm desperately trying to finish off odds and ends in the cupboards, fridge and freezer to make room for all the Christmas food that will be coming shortly.

As you all know Hubby is not a fan of creamy sauces so it was just my luck that he was out at darts tonight - giving me a great excuse to try this.

Ingredients: serves 2 and a toddler
4 rashers bacon, chopped
1 Onion sliced
1 Garlic clove, sliced
Splash of white wine
3 TBSP Soured Cream
Handful Parmesan, grated
Handful Basil, sliced
Toasted pine nuts to serve
350g Linguine, cooked according to packet

Step 1: Fry onion, bacon and garlic in a little oil
Step 2: Add wine, cream and cheese and simmer for a few minutes then add basil
Step 3:Toss in linguine and serve with toasted pine nuts scattered on top.
Beth Sachs
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Chicken Tikka Masala

Another quick one I'm afraid. We are preparing to say to goodbye to hubby's sister and family this weekend as they leave for New Zealand.

I made this last night for dinner and it was a complete hit, very tasty, with minimal effort. Great when time is short.

Ingredients: serves 4
2 Onions, sliced
Thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
2 Red Chilli's, sliced
3 Chicken breasts, chopped
1/2 280g jar of tikka paste
1 can coconut milk
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Salt and Pepper

Step 1: Fry onion, ginger and chilli's for 10 minutes until soft
Step 2: Turn up heat and add chicken and tikka paste, then add coconut milk and tomatoes and season generously. Bring to the boil then simmer with lid on for 20 minutes
Step 4: Serve with rice

A little picture of Lowen in her new winter hat!!

Beth Sachs
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Apple and Sultana Traybake

This is a beautifully moist traybake that used up my remaining Bramley's.

225g Butter, Softened
280g Caster Sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 TSP Vanilla Extract
350g Self Raising Flour
2 TSP Baking Powder
Handful of Sultana's
1 large Bramley, peeled and sliced thinly

Step 1: Preheat oven to 180c
Step 2: Cream the butter and sugar, beat in the eggs and vanilla and fold in the flour and baking powder until smooth. Add the sultana's and pour half the mixture into a lined baking tin.
Step 3: Scatter the sliced apple on top and then cover with the remaining batter.
Step 4: Bake for about 50 minutes or until golden.
Beth Sachs
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Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Blondies

Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Blondies
These were utterly delicious and I've frozen a second batch to use next weekend (catering for relatives during the wedding weekend).

125g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g butter, softened
150g crunchy peanut butter
175g soft light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g white chocolate, chopped
20 x 20cm (8 x 8in) square cake tin

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 170oC (325oF), Gas mark 3. Butter the sides of the cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
Step 2: Sift the flour and baking powder into a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and peanut butter together until very soft. Add the sugar, egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour, baking powder and the chopped chocolate and mix to form a dough.
Step 3: Place the dough in the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and almost firm in the centre. Allow to cool in the tin, before removing and cutting into squares.

Beth Sachs
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Pork, Spinach and Mushroom Lasagne

Pork Spinach and Mushroom Lasagne
There are three sauces in this, a pork ragu, a spinach bechamel and a creamy mushroom, so I'll be honest and say it was a bit of a faff (my Nana loved that word) to make and put together - but well worth it when it came to tasting! It's beautifully rich and creamy and fantastic with a slice of garlic bread.
Pork Spinach and Mushroom Lasagne


| Serves: 6  | Prep Time: 1 Hour | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes |


  • 375g Lasagne sheets
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • For the Ragu:
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 900g minced pork
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 TBSP Sage, chopped
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 x 400g Tins if Chopped Tomatoes
  • For the Mushroom Sauce:
  • 110g Butter
  • 600g Mushrooms
  • 200ml double cream
  • 10 spring onions, chopped
  • Bechamel:
  • 50g Butter
  • 50g Flour
  • 700ml Milk
  • 200g Cheddar
  • 3 tsp English Mustard
  • 200g Spinach, chopped


  • Step 1: Prepare the ragu by frying the onion for 10 minutes until soft then add the rest of the ragu ingredients and simmer for 40 minutes.
  • Step 2: Prepare the mushroom sauce by melting the butter, adding in the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook on a high heat for 5 minutes. Add the cream and continue to cook for 5 minutes, remove from heat and sprinkle in the spring onions.
  • Step 3: Prepare the bechamel sauce by melting the butter, adding the flour to make a roux, then gradually whisking in the milk, continue to whisk until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheddar, mustard, salt and pepper. Add the spinach and put it back on the heat until wilted.
  • Step 4: Butter a large lasagne dish then spread a little spinach bechamel on the bottom, lay over lasagne sheets. Then spread over the ragu, followed by a layer of spinach becahamel and finally mushroom sauce. Start again with the lasagne sheets, ragu, spinach bechamel and finally mushroom sauce. Continue until all the sauces are used up except the spinach bechamel, which you need this for the top. Finish with the spinach bechamel and sprinkle over the Parmesan.
  • Step 5: Bake in oven (200c/180Cfan) for 30 minutes.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 25th October 2008 |

Beth Sachs
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Lemon Iced Cupcakes

Lemon Iced Cupcakes
Great for bake sales and lunchboxes.


125 Butter, softened
125g Sugar
1 tsp Lemon zest
150g Plain Flour, sifted
2 Beaten Eggs
1/4 TSP Baking Powder

For the icing
75g Butter, softened
150g Icing Sugar, sifted
1 TSP Lemon Zest
1-2 TSP Lemon Juice

Method: makes 7-8 large cupcakes or 12 fairy cakes
Step 1: Preheat oven to 180c
Step 2: Cream butter, sugar and zest together
Step 3: Add eggs gradually then fold in flour and baking powder
Step 4: Spoon into cases and put in oven for 10 minutes
Step 5: To make icing mix together ingredients until right consistency is formed and spread or pipe onto cooled cakes.
Beth Sachs
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Christmas Mincemeat (Vegetarian)


This recipe makes enough mincemeat to fill approx 50 mince pies. If you would prefer to use suet just omit the melted butter from the recipe.


To make 2 Ib of Vegetarian mincemeat you will need:

450g (1 Ib) mixed dried fruit
100g (4oz) melted butter
100g (4oz) cooking apples or apple of choice - peeled and grated (weight when prepared)
100g (4oz) light brown sugar
50g -100g (2-4 oz) of chopped nuts of choice - optional
100g (4oz) glace cherries, chopped
100g (4oz) chopped candied peel
1 TSP grated lemon rind
1 TSP grated orange rind
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 TSP mixed spice
1/2 TSP ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons brandy (I used 2 TBSP brandy and 2 TBSP orange juice)

Step 1: Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
Step 2: Leave for 24 hours and stir occasionally.
Step 3: Sterilise 3 medium sized jam jars (wash in soapy water and put on a baking tray in a low oven for 20 minutes), pack in the mincemeat using a clean spoon, seal and store in a cool dry place.

Beth Sachs
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Chicken Karahi ~ a great Friday night curry!

I saw a recipe for Lamb Karahi in this months Delicious Magazine, but I decided to do a chicken version of the dish as I couldn't get hold of any lamb leg steaks.

This was a real hit and spicy enough for hubby! This is going on my 'make again' list and next time I'd like to try it with lamb.

500g Chicken Breast, cubed
200g Mushrooms, sliced
1 Onion, sliced
3 Garlic Cloves, sliced
2 tsp each of garam masala, ground coriander, cumin seeds and dried chilli flakes
400g tin of chopped Tomatoes
150ml Vegetable stock
Toasted Cashew Nuts

Serve with chapatis, basmati rice, plain yogurt and plenty of mango chutney!

Step 1: Heat oil in a pan and fry onion and garlic for 5 minutes
Step 2: Add spices and fry for 2 minutes then add chicken and mushrooms and continue to fry for 5 minutes
Step 3: Add tomatoes and stock and simmer for 30 minutes until thickened
Step 4: Serve with a nice cold bottle of lager!
Beth Sachs
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Edible Christmas Gifts (2) ~ Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla Sugar

Im going to include this in a chocolate themed hamper for a friend who has a serious addiction to all things sweet - apparently this is very good stirred into hot chocolate!!

What you will need:
1 500ml Sealable Jar (I got mine from Lakeland) - sterilised.
500g Caster Sugar
1 Vanilla Pod, slit down the middle and cut into 3 bits, put in with the sugar and then decant to jar.
Beth Sachs
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Roasted Sausage and Cherry Tomato Rigatoni

This was last nights offering for dinner, based loosely on a recipe from this months Delicious magazine, Sausage and Sage pasta.

Ingredients: serves 3-4
6 Pork Sausages
1 Can Cherry Tomatoes
1 Red Onion, quartered
Pinch Sugar
1 Garlic Clove, chopped
Parmesan, grated

Step 1: Preheat oven to 200c
Step 2: Remove skins from sausages and roll meat into large balls, place in roasting tin
Step 3: Tip in can of cherry tomatoes, red onion, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper
Step 4: Roast in oven for 30 minutes, meanwhile cook pasta
Step 5: Toss cooked pasta into sauce and sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan

Beth Sachs
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Edible Christmas Gifts (1) ~ Christmas Spiced Salt

The salt will keep for a year and is good sprinkled on roast beef.

250g Course Sea Salt (I used Cornish Sea Salt)
2 tsp Red Peppercorns
4 Star Anise
2 tsp Dried Chili Flakes

Step 1: Sterilise a 500ml jar
Step 2: Mix all ingredients together and place in cooled jar, seal and store in a cool, dry place until Christmas.
Beth Sachs
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Mustard Pork Chops with Buttered Noodles and Spinach

Olive Oil
Knob of Butter
2 Pork Chops
200g Chestnut Mushrooms, Sliced
Splash White Wine
100ml Vegetable Stock
1/4 Tsp Dried Thyme
2 TBSP Creme Fraiche
1 TSP Wholegrain Mustard
Buttered noodles and wilted spinach to serve.

Step 1: Heat oil in frying pan, add butter when hot
Step 2: Add pork chops and fry for 3 minutes each side on a high heat, then turn down the heat and cook for 2 more minutes. Take chops out of pan and let them rest on plate
Step 3: Add mushrooms and fry until cooked. Remove and place on plate with pork
Step 4: Add wine, stock and dried thyme and reduce by 2/3. Stir in creme fraiche and mustard.
Step 5: Return Pork and Mushrooms to the pan to warm though. Serve with buttered noodles and spinach
Beth Sachs
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Mars Bar Slices

Mars Bar Slices
Lowen had a couple of Birthday parties this weekend so I whipped up some of these refrigerator Mars Bar slices to take along. They are super quick to make but taste amazing. Well worth a go for kiddies parties...and the adults love them too.

Pin the Mars Bar Slices for later...
Mars Bar Slices
Mars Bar Slices


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Mars Bar Slices

Mars Bar Slices

A no-bake Mars Bar slice made with Mars Bars, rice krispies and lots of other naughty things. Perfect for kids birthday parties.
  • 4 Mars Bars, chopped
  • 2 TBSP Syrup
  • 150g Butter
  • 6 cups of Rice Krispies – use your judgement, the mixture needs to be quite stiff
  • 300g Dark Chocolate, chopped
Step 1: Line a swiss roll tin with baking paper.Step 2: Melt the Mars Bars, Butter and Syrup together either on a al ow heat on the hob or in a microwave (do it 10 second bursts and stir if using the microwave).Step 3: Mix in the rice krispies then press the mixture into the tin and pop in the fridge for 10 minutes..Step 4: Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave and spread onto the rice krispies mixture, smooth over then retirn to the fridge for at least 2 hours before cutting into squares.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time:
Yield: 16 slices


If you like the look of these, have a look at my Chocolate Fudge Brownies too!
Beth Sachs
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Vanilla Apple Cake

Vanilla Apple Cake

This months Sweet and Simple Bake was a gorgeous Vanilla Apple Cake.

We had out Village Harvest Festival last weekend so I decided to make this cake for the bring and share tea.

250g/9oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
250g/9oz golden caster sugar (or normal caster sugar)
4 eggs, beaten
250g/9oz self-raising flour
1 vanilla pod, split, seeds removed and reserved (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
3 small Bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges (or any other type of cooking apple, if not apple of your choice)
2 tbsp Demerera sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Step 1: Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter a 20cm/8inch spring form tin, then line the base with baking paper.
Step 2: Beat the caster sugar and butter together until the mixture turns pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, flour and vanilla seeds, then beat together quickly to make a smooth batter.
Step 3: Tip into the prepared tin, then lay the apple wedges on top, poking them halfway into the mix. Don’t worry if the apples appear crowded – they’ll shrink as they cook. Sprinkle with the Demerera and cinnamon, then bake for 1 hour 5 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean and the sponge is risen and golden.
Step 4: Leave to cool for a few mins, then release the tin and cool the cake completely on a wire rack.
Beth Sachs
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Blackberry Muffins

Blackberry Muffins


Ingredients: makes 12
200g Plain Flour
50g Ground Almonds
1 TSP Baking Powder
150g Golden Caster Sugar
125g Butter, Melted
175ml Buttermilk
1 Egg, beaten
200g Blackberries
Demerera Sugar for sprinkling

Step 1: Preheat oven to 180c
Step 2: Sift together flour and baking powder and stir in ground almonds
Step 3: Combine wet ingredients (including sugar) in separate bowl then lightly fold into dry ingredients
Step 4: Tip in blackberries and mix again
Step 5; Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cases and tip the muffin mixture in, sprinkle on demerera sugar.
Step 6: Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden

Beth Sachs
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Butternut Squash, Chorizo and Pine Nut Spaghetti

Squash, Chorizo and Pine Nut Spaghetti

Ingredients: (2 servings)
Half a small Butternut Squash, diced
Small Chorizo, sliced
Handful of Pine nuts, toasted
250g Spaghetti
100g Feta, crumbled
Sage leaves, shredded

Step 1: Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the squash and boil for 4 minutes until tender
Step 2: Meanwhile fry off the chorizo so they release their oil, take off the heat and add the toasted pine nuts and shredded sage
Step 3: Use a slotted spoon to take the squash out of the pan, add this to the chorizo mixture and put on a low heat.
Step 4: Add spaghetti to water and cook according to packet instruction
Step 5: Drain cooked spaghetti and toss with chorizo mixture and add a good glug of oil
Step 6: Serve with a good helping of grated Parmesan
Beth Sachs
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Beef Koftas

Every few weeks we have a 'build a burger night' in our house which is always well received, especially by hubby. On this occasion though I decided to try something a little bit different and did a 'build a kofta night' instead. I served the koftas with pitta breads, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, sour cream, chilli sauce and also some rice. They were fantastic, and although not totally authentic, they will become a regular I think!

500g Minced Beef or Lamb
1 Onion, grated
Thumb of Ginger, grated
6 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1 TBSP Chilli Sauce

Serve with Pitta's, Red Onion, Cucumber, Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Chilli Sauce and if you're really hungry Rice too!!

Step 1: To make the koftas, put all of the kofta ingredients into a big bowl, along with salt and pepper and mix together, form into balls. Grill for 8-9 minutes, turning once or twice.
Step 2: Toast Pittas and prepare salad
Beth Sachs
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Chinese Chipshop Curry

Chinese Chipshop Curry
We love Chinese curry in our house. It has a lovely subtle spice to it and its not too hot, perfect for the kids.

Chinese Chipshop Curry


| Serves: 2 | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Total Time: 50 Minutes |


  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 125ml water
  • 2 1/2 tsp plain flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp self raising flour
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • Handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • 200g leftover roast chicken


  • Step 1: Gently fry onions for 3 min, add the ginger and garlic and fry for a further 30 seconds. Keep gently frying until onions have softened.
  • Step 2: Stir in all the spices and fry for a further 5 mins. Add the water then blitz into a paste. Stir in the two flours until well combined.
  • Step 3: Slowly simmer the puree for 20 min until you have a thick paste and it is dark mustard brown in colour.
  • Step 4: Add stock, mushroom and chicken. Simmer for 10 min until sauce begins to thicken. Serve with rice.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 13th September 2008 |

Beth Sachs
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Leek and Stilton Bread and Butter Pudding

Leek and Stilton Bread and Butter Pudding
Bread and Butter pudding is one of Britain's most traditional and loved desserts, and I couldn't resist putting a savoury spin on this classic using my favourite cheese, Stilton.

The original recipe came from a past edition of BBC Good Food magazine. Let me warn you though it is very filling but also very easy to adapt with other ingredients. 

8 slices Granary Bread
TBSP Dijon Mustard
2 Leeks
200g Stilton
200g Cheddar
3 eggs
500ml Milk
Seasoning and Parsley to serve

Step 1: Fry leeks in a little oil until soft.
Step 2: Butter and mustard one side of each slice of bread and cut each slice into quarters
Step 3: Mix together the eggs. milk, salt and pepper to make an egg custard.
Step 4: Lay third of bread on the bottom of an ovenproof dish (butter side up), top with a third of leeks and third of cheeses. Pour over a third of egg custard mixture.
Step 5: Repeat the process until all ingredients have been used up. Leave to soak for 20 minutes
Step 6: Preheat oven to 190 and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Beth Sachs
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Malteser Traybake

Malteser Traybake
I'd been wanting to give these a go for ages so when I won a big box of maltesers in a prize draw last weekend I thought this was the ideal opportunity.

By Beth Sachs

110g Butter
3 TBSP Syrup
120g Digestives
100g Ginger biscuits
220g Plain Chocolate
200g Maltesers
300g White Chocolate
10 Maltesers, crushed

Step 1: Grease a swiss roll tin
Step 2: Melt the plain chocolate, syrup and butter (I did this in the microwave)
Step 3: Stir in crushed biscuits and whole maltesers and press into swiss roll tin, leave to set
Step 4: Melt white chocolate and pour over base and sprinkle over crushed maltesers.
Step 5: Refrigerate for 30 minutes then cut into bars.

Beth Sachs
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Spicy Sweet Potato Chips

Spicy Sweet Potato Chips


2 Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chips
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
2 tsp Dried Chilli
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Ground Coriander
2 Cloves of garlic, crushed
A few glugs of Olive Oil

Step 1: Preheat oven to 200c and throw the seasoning and oil over the chips in an oven proof pan
Step 2: Oven cook for 30 minutes until crispy and golden
Beth Sachs
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Bacon, Spinach and Mushroom Pancake Bake

A delicious and easy savoury pancake bake, which could easily be adapted for vegetarians. As this was a midweek meal, to save time I bought ready made pancakes from the supermarket.


Ingredients: serves 4
500g Mushrooms, sliced
6 Rashers Bacon, chopped
300g Spinach
2 Garlic Cloves
Cheese Sauce:
50g Butter
50g Flour
600ml Milk
150g Cheddar Cheese, grated
Worcestershire Sauce- dash
8 Savoury Pancakes

Step 1: Fry the mushrooms, bacon and garlic, drain excess liquid and put to one side.
Step 2: Wilt the spinach in frying pan in 2 batches and squeeze out excess water.
Step 3: Make the cheese sauce - melt the butter, stir in the flour and cook on a medium heat for 2 minutes, add the milk gradually, bring to the boil and then take off the heat and add the cheese and worcestershire sauce.
Step 4: Assemble pancakes.
Step 5: Place in oven proof dish, pour remaining sauce over and bake for 20 minutes.
Beth Sachs
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Quiche Lorraine

Quiche Lorraine
You can't beat a good old fashioned quiche and this is a classic. Everyone loves Quiche Lorraine don't they? I usually serve it with salad but if you wanted something more substantial serve the quiche straight out of the oven with my homemade spicy sweet potato chips.

print recipe

Quiche Lorraine
The classic quiche with bacon and cheese
  • For the pastry
  • 175g Plain Flour
  • 100g Cold Butter, diced
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • For the filling
  • 200g Smoked Bacon Lardons
  • 75g Cheddar, grated
  • 200ml Creme Fraiche
  • 200ml Double Cream
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 6 halved Cherry Tomatoes )optional)
Step 1: For the pastry, put the flour, butter, egg yolk and 4 tsp cold water into a food processor. Using the pulse button, process until the mix binds. Tip the pastry onto a lightly floured surface, gather into a smooth ball, then roll out as thinly as you can. Line a 23 x 2.5cm loose-bottomed, fluted flan tin, easing the pastry into the base. Trim the pastry edges with scissors (save any trimmings) so it sits slightly above the tin (if it shrinks, it shouldn't now go below the level of the tin). Press the pastry into the flutes, lightly prick the base with a fork, then chill for 10 mins. Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.Step 2: Line pastry case with foil, shiny side down, fill with dry beans and bake on the hot sheet for 15 mins. Remove foil and beans and bake for 4-5 mins more until the pastry is pale golden. If you notice any small holes or cracks, patch up with pastry trimmings. You can make up to this point a day ahead.Step 3: While the pastry cooks, prepare the filling. Heat a small frying pan, tip in the lardons and fry for a couple of mins. Drain off any liquid that comes out, then continue cooking until the lardons just start to colour, but aren't crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Cut three quarters of the cheese into small dice and finely grate the rest. Scatter the diced cheese and fried lardons over the bottom of the pastry case.Step 4: Using a spoon, beat the crème fraîche to slacken it then slowly beat in the double cream. Mix in the beaten eggs. Season (you shouldn't need much salt) and add nutmeg. Pour three-quarters of the filling into the pastry case.Step 5: Half-pull the oven shelf out and put the flan tin on the baking sheet. Quickly pour the rest of the filling into the pastry case - you get it right to the top this way. Scatter the grated cheese over the top and the cherry tomatoes if using, then carefully push the shelf back into the oven. Lower the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Bake for about 25 mins, or until golden and softly set (the centre should not feel too firm). Let the quiche settle for 4-5 mins, then remove from the tin. Serve freshly baked, although it's also good cold.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 slices
Beth Sachs
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